From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–Published 50 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, AL, this book retraces the segregation laws and the events surrounding the early stages of the Civil Rights movement. This historical account, illustrated with pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork, has a new twist as it is interspersed with modern-day cartoon characters guiding readers through the events and posing questions via dialogue-balloon conversations. Each new page builds from the previous one in the cumulative fashion similar to This Is the House That Jack Built. If used as a read-aloud, listeners will want to join in on the refrain, which was overturned because one woman was brave. This is an excellent tribute to Parks and to her role in history, told in a child-friendly style.–Tracy Bell, Eastway Elementary School, Durham, NC
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K-Gr. 2. "This is a law forbidding / black people to sit next to white people on buses, / which was overturned because one woman was brave." Each page adds a new first line to a cumulative chant about Rosa Parks ("This is the boycott triggered by . . ."), and line-and-watercolor cartoon illustrations, which make use of speech balloons, depict kids asking questions and filling in the history of segregation and the struggle against it. Unfortunately, Edwards reinforces the image of Parks as the innocent passenger who worked alone to change the world, and she tells almost nothing about Parks' activist politics and the organizations she worked with. There's no denying, however, that kids will respond to the message ("Sometimes it just takes one person to be brave"), and the lively pictures help make this an interactive introduction to civil rights history. Pair this with Nikki Giovanni's Rosa (2005), which does fill in Parks' political connections. Hazel Rochman
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